NNA – Pope Francis has left Uganda and is on his way to Central African Republic, the third and last leg of his pilgrimage to Africa.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and local Catholic leaders bid him farewell at the international airport in the lakeside town of Entebbe.
In Uganda, Francis honored the memory of a group of Christians, known as the Uganda Martyrs, who were killed in the late 19th century when they refused to renounce their faith. He urged the faithful to emulate the example of the 45 Anglican and Catholic martyrs.
He is now embarking on the most challenging part of the trip – Central African Republic is a country where violence between Christian and Muslim militants has forced nearly 1 million from their homes over the last two years and created a divided capital.
While sectarian clashes have left at least 100 people dead over the last two months, recent days have been relatively free of gunfire, and President Catherine Samba-Panza says the pope is being awaited as a “peace messenger.”–AP